January 17, 2019 12:04 pm

Chris Cornell tribute concert: Soundgarden, Metallica and more perform

Chris Cornell arrives at the premiere of 'Machine Gun Preacher' at Roy Thomson Hall during the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 11, 2011 in Toronto.

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Thousands of dedicated rockers filled The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., on Wednesday night to attend the sold out “I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell” concert.

The long-awaited show invited an all-star cast of musicians to celebrate the life of the late and legendary Soundgarden frontman, Chris Cornell, who tragically passed away at the age of 52, on May 17, 2017.

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Jimmy Kimmel acted as the evening’s master of ceremonies, introducing the likes of Melvins, Foo Fighters, Metallica, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog among many more musicians.

The surviving members of Soundgarden even braved out the emotion for a powerful 45-minute set.

While the concert was launched ultimately to honour the legacy and music of Cornell, it also served as a fundraiser for the Epidermolysis Bullosa Medical Research Foundation.

All proceeds were split between the research charity and the Chris and Vicky Cornell Foundation — which was founded by the singer and his wife, Vicky Cornell. It was launched as a foundation that protects and provides for vulnerable and neglected children around the globe.

(L-R) Kim Thayil and Taylor Hawkins perform onstage during ‘I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell’ at The Forum on Jan. 16, 2019 in Inglewood, Calif.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Chris Cornell Estate

READ MORE: Chris Cornell dead: Soundgarden frontman and grunge icon dies at 52

Those lucky enough to attend the event were treated to an extensive 42-song set, spanning more than five hours. Throughout the night, a number of Soundgarden covers were performed as well as a variety of tunes from Cornell’s highly successful solo career.

His former bandmates from Audioslave and Temple of the Dog also invited a rotating cast of worthy singers to sing in place of him.

The performances not only reminded fans of Cornell’s remarkable talent as a guitarist, singer and songwriter in general, but they also highlighted just how much he really meant to people and how he truly made an impact on each and every individual he met.

From the unexpected likes of Miley Cyrus or Adam Levine, to members of Alice in Chains and Queens of the Stone Age, Cornell inspired many.

Even 14-year-old daughter, Toni Cornell, decided to pay tribute to her father. She performed an emotional cover of Bob Marley’s Redemption Song beside Ziggy Marley, before passing off the microphone to comedian Jack Black for a break from the tears.

James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett perform onstage during ‘I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell’ at The Forum on Jan. 16, 2019 in Inglewood, Calif.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Chris Cornell Estate

The audience was encouraged not to take footage and enjoy the show.

Fortunately, for those who missed out, some just couldn’t resist recording a song or two for the benefit of their social media accounts.

One use streamed the entire event via Periscope.

If you didn’t already know, Foo Fighters’ drummer Taylor Hawkins, has some serious pipes.

The 46-year-old joined Soundgarden for a few songs, including I Awake and The Day I Tried to Live.

Taylor Hawkins performs with Soundgarden at the ‘I Am The Highway’ tribute at The Forum on Jan. 16, 2019 in Inglewood, Calif.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Chris Cornell Estate

READ MORE: Chris Cornell’s widow opens up about his addiction and death in first TV interview

The Forum fits 17,505 guests and every single seat was full. The ‘I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell’ concert sold out fast.

Diehard Cornell fans came from far and wide to celebrate the legacy the singer left behind.

Throughout his life, Cornell was focused on making music. He worked with a plethora of musicians. He helped create Temple of the Dog, the group that eventually became Pearl Jam. He also fronted Audioslave with members of Rage Against the Machine. What followed was his impactful solo career.

Longtime Pearl Jam and Soundgarden drummer Matt Cameron, expressed his admiration for Cornell’s morale in a recent interview.

“I think Chris was always encouraging us to bring in material and contribute creatively. He didn’t have the type of fragile ego that required feeding it at all times. He wanted to be fed as an artist, not as a star.”

Miley Cyrus performs onstage during ‘I Am The Highway: A Tribute To Chris Cornell’ at The Forum on Jan. 16, 2019, in Inglewood, Calif.

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Chris Cornell Estate

READ MORE: Soundgarden’s surviving members float possibility of reunion

Cornell founded Soundgarden in 1984 with lead guitarist Kim Thayil. The band released six albums overall. They broke up in 1997 and reformed in 2010. Soundgarden’s seminal single, Black Hole Sun, marked them as pioneers of the grunge scene.

As of this writing, Soundgarden have not confirmed a reunion, but the three surviving members have expressed interest and a hunger to get back onto the music scene — whether that be as Soundgarden is unclear.

“We would certainly love to try to continue to do something together,” bassist Ben Shepherd said in a recent interview following the unveiling of a commemorative Cornell statue in Seattle.

The “I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell” event was the first step for the trio. Kudos lads.

Robert Trujillo, Dave Grohl, Brad Wilk and Tom Morello perform onstage during ‘I Am the Highway’ tribute concert on Jan. 16, 2019 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

READ MORE: Chris Cornell’s son in posthumous ‘When Bad Does Good’ video

‘I Am the Highway: A Tribute to Chris Cornell’ setlist

The Melvins
Kicking Machine
With Yo’ Heart Not Yo’ Hands (Malfunkshun cover)
Leech (Green river cover)
Honey Bucket
Spoonman (Soundgarden cover)

Rita Wilson and Pete Thorn
The Promise (Chris Cornell cover)

Nikka Costa and Alain Johannes
Disappearing One (Chris Cornell cover)

Chris Stapleton
The Keeper (Chris Cornell cover)

Foo Fighters
No Attention (Soundgarden cover)
Girl U Want (Soundgarden cover)
Earache My Eye (Cheech & Chong cover)
Everlong (Acoustic)

Josh Homme
Rusty Cage/Hand of Doom (Johnny Cash/Soundgarden/Black Sabbath medley)

Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael, and Stone Gossard
Seasons (Chris Cornell cover)

Miley Cyrus
2 Drink Minimum/As Hope and Promise Fade (Chris Cornell cover)

Audioslave (Tom Morello and Brad Wilk)
Cochise (w/ Geezer Butler and Perry Farrell)
Be Yourself (w/ Geezer Butler and Juliette Lewis)
Set it Off (w/ Chris Chaney, Sam Harris and Tim Mcllrath)
Like a Stone (w/ Chris Chaney and Brandi Carlile)
Show Me How to Live (w/ Robert Trujillo and Dave Grohl)

Toni Cornell and Ziggy Marley
Redemption Song (Bob Marley cover)

Metallica
All Your Lies (Soundgarden cover)
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Master of Puppets
Head Injury (Soundgarden cover)

Ryan Adams
Dead Wishes (Chris Cornell cover)
Fell on Black Days (Soundgarden cover)

Temple Of The Dog
Preaching the End of the World
Can’t Change Me (w/ Alain Johannes, Eric Avery, and Josh Freese)
Hunted Down (w/ William DuVall, Jerry Cantrell, and Josh Freese)
All Night Thing (w/ Fiona Apple, Brendan O’Brien, David Garza, and Matt Chamberlain)
Reach Down (w/ Miguel, Nikka Costa, and Brendan O’Brien)
Say Hello 2 Heaven (w/ Miley Cyrus, Brendan O’Brien, and Josh Freese)
Hunger Strike (w/ Brandi Carlile, Chris Stapleton, and Brendan O’Brien)

Soundgarden
Rusty Cage (w/ Taylor Momsen)
Flower (w/ Marcus Durant)
Outshined (w/ Marcus Durant and Stone Gossard)
Drawing Flies (w/ Taylor Momsen, Buzz Osbourne, Matt Demeritt, and Tracy Wanamae)
Loud Love (w/ Taylor Momsen, Tom Morello, and Wayne Kramer)
I Awake (w/ Taylor Hawkins and Buzz Osbourne)
The Day I Tried to Live (w/ Taylor Hawkins and Buzz Osbourne)
Black Hole Sun (w/ Brandi Carlile, Peter Frampton, Tim Hanseroth, and Phil Hanseroth)

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca

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